EMPIRICAL STUDY OF COMMUTING BEHAVIOUR OF COMMERCIAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT PASSENGERS
The study examined the empirical study of commuting behaviours of commercial public transport passengers in Lagos State, Nigeria. The study made use of relevant and extensive review of literatures based on researchers’ and scholars’ opinions. The descriptive research survey was used in order to assess the opinions of the respondents using the questionnaire. A total of 84 samples were used as representative population, while two null hypotheses were formulated and tested using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient at 0.05 level of significant. The results that were obtained indicated that a positive correlation exists between frequency of travel and commuters income in Lagos Metropolis and that a positive correlation exists between frequency of travels and distance covered by commuters in Lagos Metropolis. Based on the data analyses and the conclusion reached in this study, the following recommendations were made: The authorities, policy makers and transport authorities should carry out the followings recommendations: They should evolve strategies for improving personal security, they should also provide alternative work schedule such as flex time, compressed work week and staggered shifts and should introduce Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems to provide high quality bus services on busy urban corridors in Lagos State.
1.1 Background of the Study
Travel behavior is the way people move in the public realm by all means of transport and for all purposes. Some of the activities people want to engage in are separated by space, which requires people to travel. The choices they make in order to travel are based on options, constraints, habits, and opportunities. For instance, how people travel to work (by car, bus, subway, or walk), the time they leave, and the duration and type of stops they make on the way are important aspects of travel behavior.
The frequent use of private cars in urban areas has a significant impact on the environment as well as on human health. Despite the fact that technical improvements, such as catalytic converts and fuel efficient engines, have decreased the pollution per vehicle, the environmental gains have been lost through the more extensive use of private cars (National Committee for Agenda 21, 1997). Other increasing problems concern auditory pollution, traffic accidents, excessive land use and the depletion of natural resources (Kolbensvedt et al., 1996).
Generally, an attitude is defined as a psychological construct, composed of affective, cognitive and behavioral components, which may be used to describe human evaluative responses (e.g. Eagly and Chaiken, 1993). Ajzen and FishbeinÕs (1980) Theory of Reasoned Action was a break-through as a general attitude model for predicting behavior. The theory stated that voluntary behavior could be predicted by the intention to act, where the intention was determined by the attitude towards the behavior plus a subjective norm. However, the theory was criticized being narrow, since most behaviors are not voluntary (Eagly and Chaiken, 1993). Ajzen(1988) adhered to the critique by developing the Theory of Planned Behaviour, which also included perceive control over the actual behaviour as a determinant. This theory has been widely recognized (Ajzen, 1991), but Eagly and Chaiken (1993) have suggested that attitude towards the target, habits, and outcomes from norms and self-identity might also be significant in order to improve the prediction of behaviors from attitudes.
Already in the early 1970s the ecological problems were defined as a crisis of maladaptive behaviour. It was also recognized that ecologically responsible patterns of human behaviour were required to solve the problems (Stern and Oskamp, 1987). The attitude most often discussed is environmental concern, a general attitude against environmental deterioration (Fransson et al., 1994). Gagnon-Thompson and Barton (1994) meant that environmental concern is motivated either by a true care for the nature as such, or by a care for nature as a human resource. Early research showed that environmental concern, at least to some degree, would determine actions promoting a sustainable environment (Arbuthnot, 1977; Kallgren and Wood, 1986; Stern and Oskamp, 1987). Perceived threat of environmental degradation was another factor, which seemed to be of significance for pro-environmental behaviour (Campell, 1983; Schmidt and Gi€ord, 1989; Baldassare and Katz, 1992; Fridgen, 1994). Also knowledge of environmental impact caused by human activities has been suggested as a motive for actions by, among others, Krause (1993) and Gamba and Oskamp (1994).
Within the field of environmental psychology, also more comprehensive models for predicting pro-environmental behaviour have been developed (Hines et al., 1986/1987; Hungerford and Volk, 1990; Axelrod and Lehman, 1993; Geller, 1995; Grob, 1995; Stern et al., 1995). Several studies, based on models with both effective and cognitive components, seem to indicate that environmental knowledge is less important than attitudes in predicting pro-environmental behaviours (Hines et al., 1986/1987; Axelrod and Lehman, 1993; Grob, 1995). In these studies also feelings of control, efficacy or empowerment aspects of the behavior, have been successfully introduced. Other variables presently discussed are social and financial expectations of behaviour outcomes. However, the relations between attitudinal components and pro-environmental behaviours seem to be very complex and, as shown by evy-Leboyer et al. (1996), caution is imperative, especially when extrapolating the results from one culture to another. In their study on sub-samples from six European countries, variations in a wide range of pro-environmental behaviours could be explained by either risk perception, subjective knowledge or attitudes in the municipality.
Environmentally sound travel behavior seems to be one of the most difficult pro-environmental behaviors to promote in Nigeria (Lind_en, 1994; Widergren, 1998). Approximately 50% of all journeys within urban areas, most of them less than five kilometres, are made by car (Solheim and Stangeby, 1997). Several reasons for the dominance of the private car have been brought up. The car is associated with time saving, comfort, freedom of movement and personal space (Malmberg, 1980; Tengstrom, 1992). Such features of the car have served it well in town planning (Herbert and Thomas, 1990). The car has also become essential in the life style of large groups in our society and thereby necessary for daily activities (Gnarling et al., 1984; Berge and Nondal, 1994).
During several generations, both men and women have been driving for a long period of their lives, and car driving is still increasing (Nynabb, 1995). On the other hand Swedes, as other Europeans, are very concerned about environmental problems caused by traffic (Worcester, 1993). From a national survey, Gooch (1995) reported that 60% of the Nigerians perceived air pollution from transport as a serious environmental problem. Kuller and Laike (1993) investigated the acceptance and the perceived intrusion of various traffic restrictions. Based on the comparison of acceptance and intrusion scores, these authors suggested that, in addition to selfish motives, there might also be a true concern for the environment.
Verplanken et al. (1994) argued that, although the initial choice of transport might depend on attitudes, this relationship weakens when the choice becomes habitual. Ljungblom (1980) suggested that information about the environmental pollution caused by car driving might be difficult for the public to take in, because this information is undermined by a glorified presentation of the car in advertisements. In a study by Gustavsson (1993), factual knowledge of the consequences of traffic pollution was low, even if the subjects had a good knowledge of how to drive in order to reduce pollution. In our own pilot study no relation between factual knowledge and travel behavior was found (Nilsson, 1993a). However, in a scenario study by Gnarling and Sandberg (1990), where the level of air pollution was varied, the results showed that increased pollution would reduce car driving. It might be that the private experience of environmental problems is an important determinant of pro-environmental behavior (Finger,1994). According to Cvetkovich and Earle (1992), experts tend to perceive environmental risks differently from the public, because experts judgments to a greater extent are based on facts.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The externalities of transport are more severe if every individual prefers taking private car to public transport, because the cause of transportation problem will increase. The need to change individual choice from private car user to public transport user is urgently needed. One of the efforts to support the change is by improving the public transport quality, and to help improve this effort the factors affecting individual to choose mode of transport should be identified. Understanding mode choice is important since it affects how efficiently we can travel, how much urban space is devoted to transportation functions as well as the range of alternatives available to the traveler (Ortuzar &Williams en 1999). Furthermore, this factor is the basic knowledge which helps to determine any effort to change travel behavior.
1.3 Aim of the Study
To examine the travel behaviour of passengers plying Oshodi to sundry routes with a view of identifying factors that influence their choices.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
1. To critically analyze travel behavior of commercial public transport passengers plying Oshodi-Mile 2 Route, Oshodi-Sango Ota Routes, Oshodi-Ajah Routes, Oshodi-Obalende Routes.
2. To explore factors influencing travel behavior of passengers along Oshodi and Sundry Routes.
3. To examine the influence of education on travel behaviour of passengers.
4. To stem the tide of traffic congestion, road crashes and environmental pollution along Oshodi-Mile 2 Route, Oshodi-Sango Ota Routes, Oshodi-Ajah Routes, Oshodi-Obalende Routes.
5. To streamline and effect good travel behaviour among passengers in Oshodi and Sundry Routes.
1.5 Significance of the Study
1. The study is timely to stem the tide of alarming road congestion and traffic accidents in Oshodi road corridor.
2. The study would provide authorities a working paper on travel behavior of passengers and factors influencing the behavior.
3. The study would create awareness of the environmental pollution and degradation caused by travel behavior of passengers.
4. The study would provide the Government blueprint to affect positive and sound travel behavior of passengers in Oshodi to sundry Routes.
5. There would be increased awareness on human factor travel behavior related causes of road crashes.
6. The study would bring about sound and efficient transport system.
7. There would be increased consciousness on the authorities responsible in managing and regulating road transportation.
8. The study would trigger mass sensitization and reorientation of passengers and road users thereby reducing incidents of road crashes.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study is limited to Oshodi-Mile 2 Route, Oshodi-Sango Ota Routes, Oshodi-Ajah Routes, Oshodi –Obalende Routes, Oshodi-Abeokuta Routes.
1.7 Research Questions
1. What are the travel behaviors of passengers?
2. What are the factors that influence passengers’ travel behaviors?
3. What have the Authorities done about travel behaviors of passengers along Oshodi road network?
4. What are the determinants of passengers travel behaviors (behavioral pattern) along Oshodi corridor?
5. Are there any correlation between frequency of travels and cost of commuters’ income in Lagos metroplis?
6. Are there any correlation between frequency of travels and distance covered by commuters in Lagos metroplis?
7. What are the solution to traffic congestion and road crashes along Oshodi road?
8. What are ways to eradicate road crashes and traffic congestion?
1.8 Research Hypothesis
1. H0:There is no significant correlation between frequency of travels and cost of commuters’ income in Lagos metroplis.
H1: There is significant correlation between frequency travels and commuters’ income in Lagos State, Nigeria.
2. H0: There is no significant correlation between frequency of travels and distance covered by commuters in Lagos metropolis.
H1: There is a significant correlation between frequency of travels and distance covered by commuters in Lagos Metropolis.
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